Mi 9 Review: Fast Charging 48MP Camera Beast!
The MWC 2019 just concluded and Xiaomi went home with several awards as VP Wang Xiang Tweeted on his official account. The Mi 9 was released actually days ahead in China and it was received warmly by Mi Fans across China. Now everyone is eagerly waiting for the release of the Global Version. We have our hands here all the 4 variants of the Mi 9, really lucky and priviledged to have all of them in my hands as probably I am the first one to land it in my country as well.
Tech Specs of Mi 9 / Mi 9 Explorer:
I honestly liked the Mi 6 design from back then, It was probably one of my favorite design from the Mi Series line up so far, but the Mi 9 did amazed me with its all edge curved design because it was designed by the one who is behind the structure of the Mi 6 no wonder. The Mi 9 did increase its screen size from the Mi 8 from 6.21 to 6.39 as we are gearing toward bigger and bigger screen. The Mi 9 does sport a 2.5D screen and it was quite slippery when we let it sit flat on a table (especially on marble or glass surface). The design was quite nice as I love the all curved design at the back which I personally believe is quite good and it gave the Mi Series a facelift for the design category. The notch improved from the Mi 8 significantly as it now sports only a teardrop notch, hopefully it will be gone comes Mi 10. The shinny rainbow colored back when reflected is one of the highlights of this phone as its really nice to see rainbow glaring at the back of your phone. The Explorer Edition is even better as you can see thru the inside of the phone tho its just aesthetics, the Battle Angel is engraved at the back as well to show the partnership between Xiaomi and Alita Movie that was just shown recently. The Mi 9 Explorer Edition is the worlds first 12GB RAM phone that was mass produced, this is to delight every gamer out there who wants extra room for the gaming experience.
The Mi 9 Box sports a prism color which is quite cool to look at especially under good lighting
Designed by Xiaomi
Protective Case, Mi 9, Audio Adapter, Sim Ejector Pin, 27W Charger, USB C Cable, Manuals
Whoa! 27W QC 3.0 Charger.
Black vs Blue, who do you choose?
The back side is the highlight of the Mi 9
Loudspeaker, USB C and Mic in at the bottom
Dual Nano Sim Card slot at the left side, of course there is the MI AI dedicated button
IR and noise cancellation mic on top
Volume rocker and the power button on the right side
Triple Camera and the LED Flash
Wireless charging supports 20W fast charge mode
After initial opening of the Black and Blue variant, I personally picked the Blue as my favorite for the moment.
Display and Audio
We were expecting a lot from the display side as we discovered that its sporting a Samsung AMOLED, tho this is already a norm for Mi Series since the Mi 8. The Full HD display did blew me away with its awesome rendering of photos and videos, and probably one thing that is not good with AMOLED is the burn in problems like those on the Samsung Galaxy Flagship Series that we have heard about. We watched several movies and I can say its pretty crisp and detailed especially playing 4K quality movies. The sound was excellent, we have no problem kicking the sound to the max inside a small room and it can fill the room with sound. The loudspeaker supports stereo mode as the sounds comes from the bottom of the phone as well as from the earpiece just above the front camera. Bluetooth connectivity of headset is also no problem on this unit. Playing games like PUBG at highest mode was definitely not a problem, just dont forget to access the game mode inside the security app.
Audio Format supported by the Mi 9
MP4 | M4V | MKV | XVID | WAV | AAC | MP3 | AMR | FLAC | APE
Video Format Supported by the Mi 9
- Supports video formats such as H.265/HEVC, H.264, MPEG4, VC-1, VP8, VP9;
- Supports high dynamic range display when playing HDR10 video content
One of the few devices that sports the latest chipset from Qualcomm is Mi 9, the Snapdragon 855 SoC has 8 cores and can run up to 2.8Ghz of computing speed. Now of course powered together with the powerful Adreno 640, and of course a generous serving of 8GB or 12GB of RAM (if your lucky to catch the explorer edition), it will give you the best experience in gaming up to date. Not mentioning that it can run even the most graphics hungry games like PUBG and NBA 2K19. This latest flagship by Qualcomm first appeared in Mi 9 and the Mi 9 Explorer. We ran several stress test on this unit and we did not see any lags nor any slowdown on the opening of any apps in the Mi 9, multitasking was a breeze (this result is expected from a flagship of this level). This SoC is supports the 64-bit architecture which means it can compute at a very fast phase. So good graphics, good multitasking plus fast processing makes Snapdragon 855 probably one of the most premium SoC in the market at the moment.
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Mi 9 6/128
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Mi 9 Explorer Edition
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Mi 9 6/128
Mi 9 8/128
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Mi 9 Explorer Edition 12/256
Lucky that I was able to hold every single one of the Mi 9 variant available in the market, you can no check the Antutu Score that I have posted as Xiaomi Mi 9 ranks #1 in AnTuTu for February 2019 achieving 371K point while I was able to achieve 372k out of the box.
First support for MI Turbo
Support for defragmentation I/O performance optimization for the first time | Support application startup speed optimization
Simulate 18 months of use, reduce aging aging by 35%
Support for Game Turbo for the first time
Support for perceived game complex scenes, intelligent scheduling system resources | Support custom game touch parameters 丨 Support custom game display enhanced gun battle game 4D touch | Support display CPU usage, GPU occupancy, FPS | Game toolbox supports one-click switching network card Supports features such as information screen support, support for game performance enhancement, optimized touch response, support for custom edge suppression range | Support for turning off automatic brightness, three-finger screen capture, eye protection mode
Live wallpaper and display
Color AOD display | Live wallpapers that support local sunrise and sunset times
First support dark mode (Dark mode)
The Mi 9 supports 14 different LTE bands and B20 is missing in this flagship unlike the Mi 8 (not sure on the Global Version). We were a bit surprised that 5G is not part of the official specs sheet that we used as it was announced to be inside the Mi MIX 3 5G. Nevertheless 5G is not yet ready to roll out anytime soon as it is still in its infant testing stage at the moment. It's pretty easy to switch to LTE network inside the settings, and it also supports Dual 4G mode as well. You can freely choose which sim you want to use your LTE data, since this is a Dual LTE, Dual standby smartphone. Wireless connectivity via Wi-Fi a/b/g/n/ac is also smooth and it also supports Wi-Fi Direct. Wireless screen mirroring is also available via the Miracast protocol, tethering data is also working perfectly. Bluetooth 5.0,GPS, and GLONASS are all present, NFC (Near Field Communication) is also present to support Mi Pay, Android Pay and it enables you to send data to a fellow NFC user with just tapping your phones together. Transfering data from older phones using Mi Mover was also a breeze as well.
Supported LTE Bands:
4G: LTE FDD: B1/B2/B3/B4/B5/B7/B8/B12/B17
LTE TDD: B34/B38/B39/B40/B41
Note: LTE B41 (2535–2655 120MHz)
3G: WCDMA: B1/ B2/B4/B5/B8
CDMA EVDO: BC0
2G: GSM: B2/B3/B5/B8
CDMA 1X: BC0
LTE B41 (2535–2655 120MHz)
supports 4×4 MIMO antenna technology | HPUE | HO RxD
Mi 9 Purple and Mi 9 Explorer Edition
The Mi 9 is one of the best camera that Xiaomi has released as of presstime, getting the nod by DXOMark with 107 Points, this catapults Mi 9 to rank 3 among the mobile camera as of February 2019. You can read more about it here https://www.dxomark.com/xiaomi-mi-9-camera-review/. We have by far tested it in all angles and all conditions be it well lit, semi dim, dark mode. We can see that in most of out shots its very vivid and crisp, Im very happy with the results even that there is no OIS present in the camera since they said that 48MP doesnt support OIS, but EIS was present for video but it was still shaky as I purposely shake it to test if its quite stable or not. Face Unlocking was no problem as well as the on screen Fingerprint Scanner.
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CIT Mode no longer showing the details that we want to see
Mi 9 Camera Sample Shots (Unedited)
Mi 9 Selfie Shots
Mi 9 Sample Videos
Shot on Mi 9 Explorer Edition
Mi 9 Battery and Benchmark:
The Mi 9 supports the Qualcomm Quick charge 4.0 but there is no one in the market manufacturing this kind of charger since the MI 8 era. Inside the box it we can find a 27W QC 3.0 charger, and we tested it took in 9V 2.7 Amperes based on our testing using the supplied charger and cable. We charged the phone from 20% to 100% in just 54 minutes and it was really fast. We recorded a 12 hour 9 minutes endurance test Mi 9 6GB/128GB version under the PC Mark battery stress test, but only scored a 10 hour on the Mi 9 Explorer Edition 12GB/256GB. If these statistics are true on a normal daily use, then it's really a good sign for the said smartphone, and based on my daily usage for several days, the battery almost last me a day without hitting the charging dock.
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Mi 9 ExplorerMore Benchmarks
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The Mi 9 and the Mi 9 Explorer did wow me and the camera performance was quite outstanding. The display I cant really ask for more since the Mi 8 big notch has been nerfed to a teardrop on this flagship, tho I still appreciate more the notchless design on the Mix 3. One thing I have noticed on this unit is that its a bit hot while running heavy games on game boost mode but all other aspect are really good. Probably the cooling system inside still needs a little improvement.
Bonus Round Mi8 Explorer vs Mi9 Explorer